Ms Godwin really stood for right

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

A renowned Gambian writer, Patience Sonko Godwin has stood for her right in making sure that her sleepless nights do not go in vain; that her intellectual diligence goes to benefit her for generations.

She like previous writers had toiled through sleepless nights and days to produce a work that would bear her name forever, but only for it to be plagiarized by criminals for financial gains.

Her efforts came in the wake of a landmark High Court judgment in which two men were sent to jail for plagiarising the two books she had authored.

Ms Godwin, after realising a foul play, took the bull by it horns, as a writer and launched a civil case against both her offenders before a competent court, where she was eventually awarded D5 million and fifty thousand dalasi, plus the statutory interest of 4 per cent for the damages inflected on her.

And since no effort was made by her plagiarists to pay up the money since 2015, she was compelled to go back to the court to re-sought justice. Her courage therefore would be admired by those who see her as a crusader.

The landmark judgment by the High Court in Ms Godwin’s favours will no doubt serve as a deterrent for many people in distinct industries to desist from any form of foul play. The judgment will give writers, singers, composers, architects, journalists, dramatists and even fashion designers a window of opportunity to demonstrate diligence without the fear of losing their creations to the wrong hands. The judgment will also give weight to Copyright Act 2004 as law meant to ensure protection.

Infringement in creative world is becoming more and more unacceptable and if no action(s) is taken, the Copyright law will only be there for no purpose.

But nonetheless, the recent move by the high court is a step in the right direction and we hope that in future, the Copyright will play its vital role in protecting those who deserve protection.

“The copyright bargain: a balance between protection for the artist and rights for the consumer.”

Robin Gross